Prairie Township adjusting to new way of operating

By Amanda Ensinger
Staff Writer

Prairie Township leadership gave an update on what the township is doing to support the community during the coronovirus crisis.

“Everything is going well, leadership, management and staff have been working very well together to achieve the objectives of the township during these unprecedented times,” said Rob Peters, township administrator. “We are doing our trustees meeting via Zoom calls and will continue to do this during the pandemic. We have the majority of staff also working from home for their safety.”

Peters said the meetings have been running smoothly via Facebook live. The trustees are calling into the meetings and Peters is streaming the phone calls via Facebook live so residents can stay informed on what is going on in the township. Residents also can submit questions ahead of the meeting and their questions will be addressed during the meeting.

Peters said residents cannot submit questions via Facebook live during the meetings.

“It is too hard to address questions coming in on Facebook live during the meetings because of everything else going on during the meetings,” Peters said. “However, residents don’t have to wait for the meetings to ask questions, they can submit questions anytime and they will be addressed.”

Peters said all the township employees have their work phones connected to their emails, so any message left on a township office line is sent to the appropriate employee via email so they can respond to residents.

Peters said some employees that are still coming into the office as normal include the cemetery and roads department staff. This department is still out in the township cleaning up items, abating nuisance properties and doing their regular duties.

“The road department is social distancing to protect staff,” Peters said. “We are using more vehicles to not have too many people in a vehicle at once and making sure they are not working too closely to each other.”

The township also is planning on moving forward with the Hometown Hero Banner Program.

“All the banners that were already printed or created in previous years will be hung up,” Peters said. “All the other banners that have not been printed yet will go up once the printer is open again and can print them.”

Peters said for right now they will put up the banners already created before Memorial Day and keep them up until Veteran’s Day. As soon as the printer is open, Peters said they will add the new banners on the streetlamps on West Broad Street.

After the banner program is over, the township will transition to holiday banners.

Finally, the township gave an update on expenditures as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are looking at all finances and projects and looking at ways we can reduce expenditures,” Peters said. “There are a lot of ways we have already cut expenses, such as at the community center. The center is closed and the pool is drained, so we don’t have the expenses of running the pool. We also have turned the cable off and are looking at other ways to continue to save.”

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